Media claims massive support for "smart guns"

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Smart guns are a lot like nuclear fusion. They’re just a couple of years away from being viable. Always.

However, smart guns are poised to finally hit the market, as we’ve noted before, even if we doubt they’ll accomplish much of anything.

It seems that a new poll, however, claims there’s all kinds of support for these guns.

  • Over half of gun owners back smart guns’ development, as do 46% of gun nonowners.
  • 55% of gun owners, 45% of adults overall and 39% of gun nonowners said they would be comfortable using a smart gun.
  • A smart gun developer and the NRA said they are opposed to the regulation of smart guns, but a 48% plurality of the public backs the regulated legalization of the weapons, which can only be fired by verified users after being unlocked by a fingerprint, pin code or app.

After decades of delays and controversy over smart guns, 2022 could be the year that the new weaponry is brought to market in the United States, with one developer saying that the firearms industry is “ripe for innovation.”

That industry will find a public with almost as much interest in using smart guns as there is in using regular firearms, a new Morning Consult survey found. Forty-three percent of U.S. adults said they would be interested in using a personalized smart gun, compared to 46 percent who said the same for a regular firearm.

Most gun owners support the development of smart guns

Gareth Glaser, president and chief executive of smart gun developer LodeStar Works Inc., said smart guns could reduce the risk of mass shootings, suicides and accidental discharge by minors, all of which can be carried out by people using a gun that does not belong to them. And verification technology has advanced enough that it is now feasible to help prevent these types of events, he said.

“It’s been around a long time now,” he said. “Everybody uses one form or another of authentication technology on their smartphone.”

Except, I don’t buy the support is really there.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. You could say I support exploring the technology, but only if you mean that I don’t actively oppose companies trying to develop it. I’m sure many others fall into the same category.

But I don’t believe for a moment that 55 percent of all gun owners would be comfortable using such a thing. Hell, they can’t even fire two shots in a row.

So why would the poll say otherwise?

Well, there are a number of possibilities, most of which involve some level of dishonesty, either by the pollsters or by the respondents. However, I have to concede that the numbers may actually be accurate. If so, that raises the question of how that can be the case?

The answer to that one is that it’s simply because the media has been on an outright blitz trying to tell us these guns are here and viable when they’re nothing of the sort. While the authentication technology exists and is common, so are the problems with it. Fingerprint readers don’t work well with sweaty hands, and for those of us who live in the South, the only time we’re not sweating is called January.

These companies and the media have lied to millions about the viability of smart guns and, unfortunately, it sounds like a lot of people may have swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

So what are we out if smart guns come out?

Honestly, if it was just another product on the market, I wouldn’t give a damn. Companies are welcome to offer products for sale all they want. I’m a free-market kind of guy and I believe the free market will determine what’s truly viable and what isn’t.

The problem is that there are those who want to push it so that these are all that’s available, and when they’re not truly viable, that’s a big issue.

If gun owners really are buying into the hype, that’s just another layer of trouble.